Nearly three years after she was sworn in as superintendent of Mantaee County schools, Diana Greene is being considered for the superintendent position in Duval County.
The School District of Manatee County has just over 60 schools and about 50,000 students. Duval County, which includes Jacksonville, has nearly 200 schools and more than 128,000 students, according to the districts' websites.
A search firm contacted Greene about the position. She is drawn to Duval, the place where she started her journey in education, but she said the opportunity will have no effect on her work in Manatee.
"I will continue to put my heart and soul into this school district as long as I'm here," Greene said.
Duval County began its search for a superintendent after Nikolai Vitti left the position, which paid $275,000 a year, in May 2017. He moved on to lead Detroit's public schools, and Patricia Willis took over as interim superintendent, according to the Florida Times-Union.
The list of candidates will be presented at a special meeting of the Duval County School Board on Monday. Initial interviews will take place May 11-12, and the school board will identify semifinalists days later, according to the district website.
Background checks and a second round of interviews will lead up to the board choosing a superintendent on May 22. A final contract will be offered on or before June 1, and the superintendent is expected to start a month later, the website states.
Duval faces many of the same challenges as Manatee, such as helping students raised in poverty and improving in the area of English language arts, Greene said.
"Every school district has challenges, whether it's a large, small or, in the case of Duval, an extra-large school district," she said.
The Manatee County School Board voted 5-0 to name Greene as interim superintendent in May 2015, following the retirement of Rick Mills. Greene had served two years as deputy superintendent of instructional services.
In 2016, the school board unanimously approved a contract to extend Greene's position as superintendent until at least June 30, 2020, with a starting salary of almost $190,000.
If chosen, Greene would return to the area where her career started. She graduated from the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She also holds an associate's degree in elementary education, a master's degree in educational leadership and a doctorate in advanced K-12 education.
She accepted her first teaching job at Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary School in Duval County.
"That position probably was the foundation of making me who I am today," Greene said. "I had no idea how challenging teaching was, and that was 30 years ago. Imagine what that challenge is now."